Nitro Athletics: Usain Bolt All-Stars team to face England in ‘revolutionary’ meet
England will provide one of five teams competing against Usain Bolt’s All-Stars in a new athletics event IAAF president Lord Coe says will “revolutionise” the sport.
Jamaica’s Bolt, an eight-time Olympic gold medallist, will be the star attraction at the first Nitro Athletics event in Melbourne on Saturday.
It includes both traditional and new events, such as the elimination mile.
“This will be track and field as it’s never been seen before,” said Bolt.
The 30-year-old learned last week he would have to hand back one of his nine Olympic gold medals after Jamaican team-mate Nesta Carter tested positive for a banned substance.
Bolt said at the time: “I’m not happy, but it’s just one of those things that happen in life.”
He is now preparing to captain the All-Stars in an event he says will bring “something different” to world athletics.
Lord Coe, head of athletics’ governing body, said: “Athletics, in its traditional form, remains the cornerstone of the Olympic Games.
“However, we need innovation and more opportunities for our athletes to interact with fans and show their personalities.”
What is Nitro Athletics?
Athletics Australia president Mark Arbib says it is “the sports entertainment product track and field needs to move athletics beyond the existing format of one-day athletics meets”.
He believes it will be a “game-changer”, an event showcasing a mix of power, endurance, technique and teamwork disciplines across sprints, distance, field and Para-athletics events.
Cue mixed events, medley relays and target javelin, with countdown clocks, athletes wearing microphones and fluorescent blocks and batons.
Points are awarded for each of the 12 events, as the six teams compete over three one-day meetings at Melbourne’s Lakeside Stadium.